In 1947, in the case Everson v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court reinvented the definition of the phrase “Separation of church and state” and declared, “The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state.
This “big lie” is the most damaging legislation ever passed since the beginning of the United States.
I was seven years of age when this law was enacted, and often find myself blaming the generation of my parents for allowing the passing of this damaging legislation. Not one Christian, or Christian organization opposed it passage.
And I have to wonder how many of our children will curse us for allowing the Progressives to destroy their lives because we didn’t get involved, and demand that our nations leaders return us to laws that will promote “social morality.” – If we don’t our nation will soon die.
“Separation of church and state” currently means almost exactly the opposite of what it originally meant, and has been used to delete the mention of God or any godly activities in any public display or government institutions.
This bogus law has been used by the Progressives to eliminate school prayer, posting of the Ten Commandments on the walls of schools and courtrooms, used to block Christmas displays, Easter and any other Christian sanctioned activities, or public comment.
The “separation of church and state” phrase, which they invoked, and which has today become so familiar, was taken from an exchange of letters between President Thomas Jefferson and the Baptist Association of Danbury, Connecticut, shortly after Jefferson became President.
The Association of Danbury was concerned that the federal government might one day – as in their former country, England – might attempt to establish a government-sanctioned church, and wrote these concerns to the newly elected President Thomas Jefferson
In his short and polite reply to the Danbury Baptists on January 1, 1802, he assured them that they need not fear; that the free exercise of religion would never be interfered with by the federal government. As he explained:
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God; that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship; that the legislative powers of government reach actions only and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.
So clearly did Jefferson understand the Source of America’s inalienable rights that he even doubted whether America could survive if we ever lost that knowledge. He queried:
And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure if we have lost the only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath?
Jefferson believed that God, not government, was the Author and Source of our rights and that the government, therefore, was to be prevented from interference with those rights. Very simply, the “fence” of the Webster letter and the “wall” of the Danbury letter were not to limit religious activities in public; rather they were to limit the power of the government to prohibit or interfere with those expressions.
Earlier courts long understood Jefferson’s intent. In fact, when Jefferson’s letter was invoked by the Supreme Court (only twice prior to the 1947 Everson case – the Reynolds v. United States case in 1878), unlike today’s Courts which publish only his eight-word separation phrase, that earlier Court published Jefferson’s entire letter and then concluded:
Coming as this does from an acknowledged leader of the advocates of the measure, it [Jefferson's letter] may be accepted almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the Amendment thus secured. Congress was deprived of all legislative power over mere [religious] opinion, but was left free to reach actions which were in violation of social duties or subversive of good order. (emphasis added)
That Court then summarized Jefferson’s intent for “separation of church and state”:
[T]he rightful purposes of civil government are for its officers to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order. In th[is] . . . is found the true distinction between what properly belongs to the church and what to the State.
Actions into which – if perpetrated in the name of religion – the government did have legitimate reason to intrude. Those activities included human sacrifice, polygamy, bigamy, concubinage, incest, infanticide, parricide, advocation and promotion of immorality, etc.
Such acts, even if perpetrated in the name of religion, would be stopped by the government since, as the Court had explained, they were “subversive of good order” and were “overt acts against peace.”
However, the government was never to interfere with traditional religious practices outlined in “the Books of the Law and the Gospel” – whether public prayer, the use of the Scriptures, public acknowledgements of God, etc.
If Jefferson’s letter were used in 1947, letting its context be clearly given – as in previous years, it would never have been written into law.
Earlier Courts had always viewed Jefferson’s Danbury letter for just what it was: a personal, private letter to a specific group.
There is probably no other instance in America’s history where words spoken by a single individual in a private letter – words clearly divorced from their context – have become the sole authorization for a national policy.
Finally, Jefferson’s Danbury letter should never be invoked as a stand-alone document. A proper analysis of Jefferson’s views must include his numerous other statements on the First Amendment.
[N]o power over the freedom of religion . . . [is] delegated to the United States by the Constitution. — Kentucky Resolution, 1798
In matters of religion, I have considered that its free exercise is placed by the Constitution independent of the powers of the general [federal] government.– Second Inaugural Address, 1805
[O]ur excellent Constitution . . . has not placed our religious rights under the power of any public functionary. — Letter to the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1808
I consider the government of the United States as interdicted [prohibited] by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions . . . or exercises. — Letter to Samuel Millar, 1808
Jefferson believed that the government was to be powerless to interfere with religious expressions for a very simple reason: he had long witnessed the unhealthy tendency of government to encroach upon the free exercise of religion.
In addition to his other statements previously noted, Jefferson also declared that the “power to prescribe any religious exercise. . . . must rest with the States” (emphasis added).
Nevertheless, the federal courts ignore this succinct declaration and choose rather to misuse his separation phrase to strike down scores of State laws which encourage or facilitate public religious expressions.
Such rulings against State laws are a direct violation of the words and intent of the very one from whom the courts claim to derive their policy.
The Congressional Records from June 7 to September 25, 1789, record the months of discussions and debates of the ninety Founding Fathers who framed the First Amendment.
Significantly, not only was Thomas Jefferson not one of those ninety who framed the First Amendment, but also, during those debates not one of those ninety Framers ever mentioned the phrase “separation of church and state.”
It seems logical that if this had been the intent for the First Amendment – as is so frequently asserted-then at least one of those ninety who framed the Amendment would have mentioned that phrase; none did.
The “separation” phrase so frequently invoked today was rarely mentioned by any of the Founders; and even Jefferson’s explanation of his phrase is diametrically opposed to the manner in which courts apply it today.
“Separation of church and state” was passed simply because they were allowed to re-define the phrase, and was unopposed.
If the bill were challenged today, arguing the full context as was argued in previous challenges before the 1947 law, it would easily be revoked.
Why is it that a law that has been so damaging to the Christian faith, and used to destroy the moral values of our nation, why has it not been challenged?” Why?
Excerpts were taken from: Wallbuilders